Americans Are Not As Poor As They Think They Are (Thomas R. Wells, 1/08/24, 3Quarks)

The evidence shows that most Americans are richer than ever, and richer than most people in the rich world – that they consume more, live in larger homes, and so on. They are objectively some of the luckiest people in world history. On the one hand all this narcissistic whining about imaginary poverty is mildly annoying for the rest of the world to have to listen to. On the other hand, it reflects shared delusions about individual entitlements and America’s economic decline that are driving a toxic ‘doom politics’ of cynicism and resentment, while also neglecting the needs of actually poor Americans.

Two misunderstandings in particular seem to drive the mistake: that everything is more expensive these days, and that the rich took all the money.